I had these made by a friend according to my specifications about 20 years ago. The design is based on Roman era military sandals and Germanic peat bog finds of the same time. Later throughout the Middle Ages that type of shoe became known as the "Bundschuh" or tied shoe, its simplicity and functionality leans itself towards early mass production for military use and popularity amongst poorer people. The upper material is made from one single piece of veg tanned leather, so there are no seams that can go. The design is really smart in its simplicity -first the sole was cut out around my foot-print and stitched to the upper material and then whole front section was folded around my foot to be knotted into place. The leather I chose is pretty heavy gauge, and they weren't easy to wear in but once that was done they did fit like a sock. After 20 years and regular care, the leather shows no sign of cracks or wear affecting the integrity of the shoe.
Where and how is it used?
I have them on my feet intermittently between spring and autumn. I try to avoid sandy beaches because they fill up with sand that can't escape. Probably my only shoe that was equally suited to alpine walks and the muck of camping sides as well as stylish urban outfits.
What did you or someone else pay for it?
can't quite remember, probably some trade involving favours and a small amount of money.
Why do you want to add it to the museum?
Sometimes I love the look of them and sometimes I just know they are a good shoe but I don't feel like resting my eye on them. In terms of contemporary shoe habits they are pretty out there, so when I'm among people I have to be in the mood for them. With these shoes form follows function, the materials are great, they have no frills and a striking look, so leaving individual taste aside, they really tick the boxes for great design.
How was it made?
Is made in a factory
Is produced by local cottage industry
Is made to particular specifications
Is craft / hand-made
Is a service
Materials & Making
Who made or produced your commodity?
a good friend and craftsperson and a shoemaker, a tanner
Who was paid to make it?
Both of them
What skills does it take to make it?
Leatherworking skills, tanning skills
Where was it made?
South of Germany
What does it cost to make it?
depends on how people value their time, a pair of them goes for under £100
What is it made from?
1. upper material:
upper material made of one single piece of vegetable tanned leather
2. in between sole:
veg tanned leather
3. linen thread:
used to stitch upper material to in between sole
made of vibram, a classic material for walking boots
Buying & Owning
Who decides how much it costs?
My friend the leather crafts person
Who or what assesses its quality?
him and myself in use
Where is it sold?
Who or what sells it?
How did this thing arrive from where it was made to where you got it?
Where is it used?
On my feet
Where is it kept?
on my feet and in the shoe cupboard
How and by whom is it cared for?
How long will it last?
if looked after it might outlast me
Where will it go when it's finished with?
What is it worth?
lots more than what it cost
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